Counter Motivation - the Saboteur

Counter Motivation - the Saboteur

January 16, 2012 0 Comments

A glimpse into the latest research offering insight into behaviour psychology and goal attainment.

You see, most of us are highly motivated when creating our new goals, possessed with drive and desire, we begin with the best of intentions, there’s just one little problem…

Enter the “Counter-Motivation.”

A stealth fighter to the radar of behavioural psychology; Counter Motivations are a group of behaviours, just as compelling, that often go unaccounted for.

Let me explain:

Achieving your ideal body composition may be extremely important to you, however, so is spending time with your family or working on your career…  This presents a conflict.

Others may have counter-motivations to avoid pain, or discomfort, and frankly, who can blame them?  If you are extremely de-conditioned, exercise will most likely, without the guidance of a coach, render you in some form of discomfort.  This also forms a compelling reason to NOT take action on your new goal.

Now, some people may just call these “excuses” but researchers in behavioural psychology are looking at this from a more objective position.

Obstacles, excuses, or counter-motivations must be identified and provided for with a sound solution.  We must be able to literally visualise ourselves achieving our goals, within the context of our daily life and the constraints currently present.  Get people on board with your goal, and begin making small but manageable lifestyle changes that can be incorporated into your daily routine.  A Coach can help you with this.

The Eternal Optimist

Another problem with goal fulfillment is that people base their predictions of what they will be able to accomplish in an ideal world.  One in which there are no obstacles or unforeseen demands to trip them up.

This results in overly optimistic predictions.  Essentially, goals that are impossible to reach.

The research referenced below shows the more an individual over-predicts their ability to achieve a goal, the more likely they are to miss opportunities to act on their intentions.

What’s even more interesting is that their optimism prompts them to GO IT ALONE; without the help of a coach, mentor, trainer, friend or support group. Don’t make this mistake.

Participants in the study below routinely estimated a self-success rate of 90%, when in fact, the end result was closer to 50%.  A fairly large spread, essentially hit or miss.

The solution is to seek help, especially if you’ve previously failed to reach a goal.  A Coach can help you account for counter-motivations, set reasonable goals, guide you to realistically predict your chance of success, and help you make lifestyle change is essential.

In some cases this will literally be taken one small step and one seemingly fleeting minute at a time.  Remember your energy and time are your most valuable resources.

The bottom line: visualise obstacles, account for counter-motivations, and seek guidance and help in your quest.

It’s worth repeating:

Set realistic and meaningful goals.

Find the obstacles.

Hire a Coach.

Find training partners and friends to support you.

Yours in good health, stay focused!

Coach C

Koehler, D., White, R., et al. Good Intentions, Optimistic Self-Predictions, and Missed Opportunities. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2011. 2(1), 90-96.

Richetin, J., Conner, M., et al. Not Doing is Not the Opposite of Doing: Implications for attitudinal Models of Behavioural Predication. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2011. 37()1), 40-54.

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